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Activism

The Women's March Heralds a Renaissance of Resistance

Saturday's protests are about transforming our fear and sorrow into power and imagination.

Photo Credit: Geoff Livingston / Flickr

Donald Trump is giving women nightmares. Many of them have reached out to me to say they are being seized by flashbacks of trauma and rape. They blame Trump’s rise to power. So do I: my own rape came flooding back to me in a dream the other night. It was stirred by the inauguration of the president I call our predator-in-chief.

It is this living nightmare that compelled me to march on Saturday in Washington DC. I will never accept Donald Trump – a self-confessed sexual assaulter, a nationalist, an Islamophobe, a climate denier, and a racist – as my president. He is illegitimate, elected by less than a quarter of the population. His agenda of divisiveness, hate and misogyny is a danger to people here and everywhere. 

I cannot speak for every person coming to DC and the 600 sister marches around the world. But I know that there were many different reasons that brought us to the streets on Saturday.

We marched so that women have access to quality healthcare, affordable birth control and to protect women’s rights to abortion. And we did so for every sister who has been raped, or been a victim of incest, or harassed, or beaten, or sold, unvalued or paid less than a man.

We marched to remember every sister who has been shot by the police, or grabbed or hurt at her workplace, or denied insurance for an abortion or medical needs, or threatened with deportation or surveillance by people screaming for a wall.

We marched for Standing Rock fighting to protect their water, their traditions and sovereignty over their land. We marched so that black, brown, LGBT, Asian, Muslim, disabled women’s voices and concerns are front and center. We marched for our mother Earth that we may devote ourselves to ending all forms of extraction, to finding our connection to her, to cherishing her and protecting her as she so generously gives us life.

We marched with our sisters throughout the world who are on the devastating end of neoliberal policies wreaking havoc on their economies, land, livelihoods and safety. We marched against US imperialist aggression and interventions that have led to the maiming, murdering, raping and destruction of women’s lives across the planet.

We marched against a system of morbid inequality of wealth where eight men own as much wealth as 3.6 billion people. 

We marched to deepen a collective understanding of radical feminism – so we can offer an unapologetic assault on the racist patriarchy that has damaged so many of us. 

We marched so that women and men who are incarcerated, after years of being abused and impoverished, are seen and cared for and lifted – rather than being punished and abused even more. 

We marched because struggle is valiant and more satisfying than pursuing only our own personal happiness. 

We marched for strength in these coming years and for the ability to survive in a culture that erases and excludes and forgets women, and denies women their humanity, and refuses to recognize their achievements and all the ways they serve and lead selflessly. We marched to link arms with friends, comrades and strangers so that the rhythm of our steps becomes the tempo of a new time and the unified chants of our voices become a clarion call.

We marched to turn our fear and sorrow and shame to power and imagination. We marched for another paradigm where the lack of ethics, morality, and truth that have brought us to this moment are transformed – into principles which will drive a powerful intersectional, spiritual movement of movements.

This march was built on a long line of women’s marches. We took part in it to honor our mothers whose bodies and beings and blood carved the path we are walking on. We marched to find the new language of these times – built on a deeper education, radical listening, humility and empathy.

We marched to be brave, to become willing to put our bodies on the line for any woman who is attacked for her race, religion, immigration status or for simply living in a woman’s body. And we are finding our courage in the escalating renaissance of resistance that was catalyzed the day Donald Trump was elected and is wild throughout this country and the world.

We marched to sow more seeds and invite more women into that renaissance and to take the energy of this march and use it to set fires of resistance everywhere. 

We marched today so the next generation of girls don’t wake up with poisonous nightmares, but with radiant dreams.

Eve Ensler is the award-winning author of The Vagina Monologues, and the founder and artistic director of V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls (http://www.vday.org).
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